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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Academic Paper


Title: 'Why labial-velar stops merge to /gb/'
Author: Michael C.Cahill
Email: click here to access email
Institution: 'SIL International'
Linguistic Field: 'Phonology'
Abstract: Most languages with labial-velar stops (i.e. /kp/ and /gb/) have both the voiced and voiceless versions, but several dozen languages have only /kp/ or only /gb/. Examination of the stop inventories of such languages reveals that in languages which have only /kp/ there are always other gaps in the stop inventory, but languages which have only /gb/ usually have a full set of other stops, showing that there is a different historical mechanism involved. Also, ‘/gb/-only’ languages are more common than ‘/kp/-only’ languages, despite the cross-linguistic tendency to favour voiceless stops. Comparative studies show that ‘/gb/-only’ languages are often a result of a merger of *gb and *kp into /gb/. I propose that this merger is a result of three phonetic characteristics of the phonologically voiceless /kp/, qualities typical of voiced obstruents. Since *kp is already partly in the ‘voiced camp’, I hypothesise that hearers interpret it as voiced.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Phonology Vol. 25, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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